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prospect-update-gwinnett-hitters | June | 2009 Articles

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Prospect Update - Gwinnett Hitters

Written by Joe Lucia on .

I'm a huge fan of minor league baseball (despite the fact that the city I live in houses the worst team in professional baseball. I actually made it up to a Gwinnett-Lehigh Valley game in May, and saw Tommy Hanson turn the Iron Pigs lineup into a bunch of foolks. Over on Talking Chop, Matt does a fantastic job every night of reviewing the days games throughout the minor league system. I don't want to completely rip off his gimmick, so I'll take a look at some of our top prospects this week, organization by organization, alternating between hitting and pitching for each team. I'll probably end up doing this every couple to few weeks, depending on if there is any major news to fill blog posts with. So without any further ado...the Gwinnett Braves offense! Gwinnett has been gutted this year with all of the injuries to the major league club. 4 players who started the season in Gwinnett are now in Atlanta, including aces 1A and 1B, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen. 3 Gwinnett outfielders, Brandon Jones, Brian Barton & Jordan Schafer, have also spent time in Atlanta this season. Lets spotlight some guys that may be able to help the Braves later this season. Brandon Jones, LF: .306/.392/.368. Well, I like 2 of his slash stats. I am an unabashed board member of the Brandon Jones fan club, but even I am worried by his only 9 extra base hits this season, all of which are doubles. Brandon was banged up for the first week of June, but is back now, and is hitting .333 since his return. Barbaro Canizares, 1B: .344/.417/.533. Now THIS is more like it. Barbaro was up in Atlanta for 4 games at the end of last week, and it was much deserved. Some brief background on Barbaro: his family fled from Cuba a few years ago, he signed with the Braves, and this is his second year at AAA (I'd say Gwinnett, but the team wasn't in Gwinnett last year...yeah). Barbaro leads the G-Braves in doubles and OPS, and is second in homers. When a player manages to walk as much as he strikes out with decent power, I tend to take notice, no matter how old they are. Brooks Conrad, 2B: .273/.370/.449. Most of you have probably never heard of Brooks Conrad, with good reason. He was a minor league free agent the Braves signed from Oakland this offseason, and isn't much of a prospect...he's a 29 year old career minor leaguer. But he's putting together quite a nice little season here, leading the Braves in homers. Conrad has greatly improved his plate discipline this year compared to last year, increasing his walk rate and cutting his K rate. His ISO is way down, due to a lack of doubles this season. Conrad could probably do the exact same thing in Atlanta as what Kelly Johnson is doing now, but for less money.

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